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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Communications Tips – Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act

This week, the Supreme Court may grant a writ to hear a case questioning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. There will be a number of questions raised by this action. Consider the following points in talking with colleagues and the press.

Main Points:

1. The Affordable Care Act is supported by the text of the constitution and years of judicial precedent.
a. If one reads the constitution, including the amendments, there is no question that this law is supported by the words in the constitution.
b. At the Appellate level, two very conservative judges have supported the constitutionality of the law (Silverman appointed by Reagan and Sutton appointed by G.W. Bush).
c. The DC Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the health law on 11-8-11.

2. People challenging the law are playing politics—using the courts to attempt to accomplish what they didn’t succeed at through the legislative process.
a. Some people don’t want to rein in insurance companies.
b. They have other priorities; ordinary American families are not one of them.

3. This law provides protections for American families:
a. A child getting sick is no longer a reason for a lifetime of denial of care;
b. Preventive services will give our children and our parents better chances for healthier and longer lives;
c. Insurance companies can no longer take unfair advantage of ordinary Americans with practices like charging women more than men for health insurance.

Those trying to manipulate our judicial process and the constitution for political expediency should reflect on America’s history. George Washington couldn’t clothe his troops because the Articles of Confederation didn’t allow the government to raise funds for his army. The constitution was written so, as our first President said, ‘we can have national solutions to national problems.’

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